This study aimed to describe patient-related characteristics of those attending the diabetes telehealth service delivered from a tertiary hospital and compare these with the characteristics of patients attending face-to-face visits at the same hospital’s diabetes outpatient service. This analysis could inform diabetes telehealth service improvements. To our knowledge, there has been no prior evaluation of a diabetes telehealth service in Australia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted as part of the Australian National Diabetes Audit in May 2016 for all patients attending the diabetes telehealth service and diabetes outpatient service. The diabetes telehealth service was serving a greater proportion of females, indigenous people and patients with a longer mean duration of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients in the diabetes telehealth service group had a higher average glycated haemoglobin of 9.1% (76 mmol/mol) vs 8.1% (65 mmol/mol) in the diabetes outpatient service group. The diabetes telehealth service had more people with initial visits; had higher self-reported smoking rates in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients; and had adequate access to allied health supports as recommended for diabetes management. Diabetes telehealth service patients had more complex diabetes as evidenced by a higher proportion of indigenous clients, higher glycated haemoglobin and longer mean duration of diabetes.
- clinical audit